Miss Manners: Rid life of souvenirs of last beau

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My current boyfriend and I are quickly approaching our one-year anniversary and made a trip to look at engagement rings. As I plan a future with him, I still have a couple of trinkets at home from a previous relationship: a pair of silver earrings I received as a birthday gift from an ex-boyfriend, and a pair of sweatpants taken from the same ex-boyfriend’s closet.

I still wear the earrings and occasionally curl up in the comfy sweatpants. Is it wrong to keep them? Should I tell my boyfriend where (or rather, from whom) I received them?

GENTLE READER: Are you prepared for his response?

Miss Manners would have been inclined to allow you to keep the earrings and not mention from whom they came (or say “an old friend gave them to me,” which is perfectly true). But your intimate description of the sweatpants (from the same person, no less) is making her question your loyalties – and she fears that your beau would, too.

It would seem easier all around to give or put away gifts from an old boyfriend if he truly means nothing to you now. If your future fiance won’t allow you to wear his sweatpants, presumably it would still be preferable to keep the man that is still in them.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: How does one respond to a co-worker who brags about getting a trust fund check every quarter? With the latest check, she has mentioned to me (twice) everything that she has bought with it, or that she paid off. I just sit and nod my head, currently.

GENTLE READER: Unfortunately, that is about all one can politely do. Miss Manners suggests you change the subject by mentioning local charities you know that are looking for funding – as long as you refrain from adding that you might be among them.

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